Encaustic Map Cube

I’ve been so obsessed with maps lately that I can’t stop painting them.  I think it’s mainly because they have so much meaning.  A map is essentially just a picture of straight and curved lines.  But if you recognize the place it represents, you can find your home, your old school, your best friends house, and so many other meaningful pin pricks on this otherwise innocuous picture.

I’ve lived in a lot of places throughout my life, and when I stumbled upon the idea of doing an encaustic map cube, I knew right away I had to put a different city on each side.  Though, I do think it would be pretty cool to try and do one city and have all the sides blend into the other.  Not sure how that would work, but it would be fun to try.

Would you like to commission a cube for you and your family?  Contact me at and we will discuss cities, colors, and timeline for delivery.  This painting would be a fabulous Christmas present for anyone on your list!

Encaustic Map Cube

I know it looks a little messy.  What doesn’t show in the video is that I actually messed up a bit on this project.  Usually when I fill in my lines with oil paint, I wipe the excess paint away immediately with a paper towel and some linseed oil.  This time, I was working on a few projects at a time, and once I added oil paint to 3 sides, I laid the cube down and didn’t come back to it for a couple days.  By that time, the thin layer of oil paint on those 3 sides had dried to the point where the linseed oil wouldn’t take it off.  I had to scrape it away with a clay tool, and that’s why some of the sides look a bit messier than they should.

So, important tip- don’t let your oil paint sit on the surface of your encaustic painting for more than a day if you want to be able to wipe it off.

Despite my mistakes, though, I love the way this map cube turned out.  What a fun way to commemorate the special places and memories in your life!

DecoArt Dimensional Effects in Abstract Art

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!  I have a couple awesome mini canvases for you today, one of them bright green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  🙂  I created them with DecoArt dimensional effects paste.  The consistency of this texture paste is so interesting- it’s like pudding.  For some reason, I just want to eat it out of the bottle.

decoart dimensional effects

It’s fascinating to me how brands of texture paste are so different from each other. I guess dimensional effects is not technically texture paste, but it’s similar.  However, the dimensional effects has an opaque, shimmery quality about it.

In this first piece, I’ve also added some green acrylic paint in various shades (also DecoArt) and some white india ink among my paper pieces.  I love the way the splatters of india ink and paint interact with the opaque quality of the texture paste.  It’s such a cool look!

DecoArt Dimensional Effects

decoart dimensional paste decoart paste in abstract art

This sunset colored one, however, looks just awesome.  I love the colors, obviously, but for this piece I used all india ink with the dimensional effects and quilling pieces.  The liquid ink clung to the edges of the paste, really highlighting those areas and making them pop!

decoart paste with india ink decoart with quilling

What do you think?  Have you tried different brands of texture paste?  Which brand is your favorite so far?  I will confess, I see so many possibilities with this dimensional effects paste.  The fact that it is opaque, with a rather elastic consistency, kind of blows my mind.  I can’t wait to try some other techniques to mix it with paint, ink, etc. and see how it reacts, not to mention using it through stencils, with stamps, and who knows what else!

Creating an Abstract Quilling Piece

mixed media quilling piece

It’s been a while since I’ve completed a quilling piece.  I’m still working on my Recorded Histories series, but rolling all my paper pieces does take a lot of time. Unless I spend several hours every day rolling paper, I can’t finish very many pieces in a short amount of time, especially if they’re larger pieces.  So when I finish a larger piece, it’s so satisfying!

This quilling piece is 18*18 inches and is a mixture of acrylic paint, india ink and quilled paper pieces.

  • I began with the lighter colors, using a makeup sponge to paint the areas and shapes I wanted.
  • I used a spray bottle to help blend the colors and remove any obvious sponge marks.
  • I applied large drops of paint inc certain areas, using my fingers to add colors on top of each other to create really cool color blends.
  • Once everything was dry, I began to add my paper pieces, using the color of the paint to dictate the color of the pieces and where they would be place.
  • There were a few splashes on the white parts that I needed to cover up, so I added a few layers of white gesso in between the main arms of blue.

abstract quilling piece blue and white quilling piece quilling piece using acrylic paint and india ink

This was really such a simple piece, and so fun to work on.  Again, the part that takes so long is creating these paper pieces, but once I have enough, the super fun part begins!

I’m still thinking of a name for this one, so I need your help.  I would love to hear your ideas!  Please share them in the comments and I’ll update you once it’s been named.  Thank you so much!